Kanvar Singh, Area Managing Director, talks about the boutique luxury hotel brand, working in the hospitality industry, and becoming a rising star.
How did you get into the hospitality industry?
I got into hospitality because I really admire Mr. Chatwal, the owner of Dream Hotel Group. While I was still in college, I started working in his hotels as a management trainee. When you enter the hospitality industry, you either love it or hate it, and I loved it. I have a lot of passion for what I do and I love going to work. This passion has guided me to where I am now. It’s such a big part of me.
Did you go to school for hospitality?
I did not go to school for hospitality, but once I joined the industry and developed a passion for it, I was eager to further develop my skills. At age 24, I was the youngest person to graduate from Cornell’s intensive two-week General Managers program. There were 45 of us from 30 different countries in the program; it was an incredible experience where I was able to create phenomenal relationships that I will cherish forever.
What makes Time Hotel the best luxury hotel to stay at?
The Time Hotels provides every individual with personalized services, offering only top-of-the-line amenities and innovative technology meant to enhance the guest experience. We make sure that each guest has a personalized stay, whether they are celebrating a birthday, anniversary, or are here with family or on business. We curate our guest services based on the type of visit and seek to create meaningful and lasting relationships with our guests before they arrive and after they leave, so they always know they have a home away from home at The Time Hotels.
Being someone who has grown with the company, how important is it to stay current with the ever- changing demand of your consumers?
It is extremely important to stay current with the ever-changing consumer demands, because without “them” there would be no “us.” Our goal is to provide the best experiences to all our guests and leave a lasting impression so they stay with us time and time again. It’s important to know the values and interests for our guests; for example, millennials care about technology. As such, we make an effort to stay on top of all the latest and best technologies that we can offer our guests, from USB ports on the nightstands to Smart TVs in-room, providing easy accessibility for guests staying with us. In addition to the best technology, we still strive to provide personalized services and to curate meaningful experiences for guests. Our concierge appeals to people looking for social experiences, assistance in making dinner reservations, purchasing Broadway tickets, etc. We’re involved with local happenings and local businesses, which I believe is key. Another example is that even though we have a gym at The Time New York, some of our guests wish to take classes, so we partnered with Equinox to offer our guests this option. It is important in the luxury boutique industry to understand our guests’ needs before they have to ask.
What advice would you give to someone who is interested in going into the hospitality industry?
I would advise any individual interested in entering the hospitality industry to be patient. Hospitality is a great field and is constantly growing, evolving and changing, but it takes hard work and dedication to move up the ladder. If you love working with people and social engagement, hospitality may be the right industry for you.
You really have worked your way up in the company. What can you attribute that success to?
I can attribute my success to the leadership team that helped me grow in my own hospitality journey; Jay Stein, the CEO of Dream Hotel Group, Rabinder Pal Singh, CFO of Dream Hotel Group and Manny Chohan, the Senior Vice President of Operations and Revenue. Jay and Manny have helped groom me throughout my career and have given me incredible opportunities that have led me to where I am now. I can also attribute my success to my wonderful team that is constantly growing and reaching goals across both properties with service, revenue, sales, social, e-commerce, and more.
What are your future goals professionally and personally?
My future goals professionally are to further develop and grow The Time brand and ensure it becomes a leading brand in the boutique hotel industry. I want to create a brand where guests can experience luxury domestically and internationally. I ultimately aspire to become the CEO of a hotel group.
On a personal note, I would like to do a lot more for the community using my job platform as General Manager for Time Hotels. The Time New York has hosted families in need; in the past, we hosted Cooper, a 6-year-old boy, and his family, while he underwent surgery for a rare and crippling neurological condition known as Chiari Malformation. We’ve also partnered with Children’s Hope Charity and Saint Jude’s. Being able to help those in need is a special benefit of my job and something that makes the Time team and, and also myself, feel fortunate to give back.